Free Fun in London
The London Pass saves you on attraction entry costs for museums, landmarks and sights that charge. But if you're a local who just wants to while away some time or a sightseer who wants to save as much money as possible (let's be honest, who doesn't), then you're in luck here. From art galleries and museums to gigs and street art, there are plenty of places to find free fun in London. And now you'll know where they're all located, thanks to our top 15 free fun things to do in London list.
Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DD It's one of the most famous museums in the world for a reason. Expect a uniquely engaging day out at the British Museum, with its collection of over 8 million items. It’s a must-visit for all culture fiends and those with a keen interest in history. Some of its most famous exhibits include the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon Sculptures and the Egyptian Mummies. Virtual experiences, previews and exclusive online experiences are also available here. https://www.instagram.com/p/BycqvUsnoKR/ 2. Check out the local talent in Covent Garden Cranbourn St, Covent Garden, London WC2H 7AR Covent Garden’s famous Piazza has played host to performers from all over the world since the 1660s. Expect everything from knife jugglers to mimes and contortionists. Whether you’re shopping for exquisite products from world-class brands, trying one of over 20 Al Fresco dining spots in the square or simply ambling by, taking in one of these performances is the perfect pitstop from. And you’ll be preserving a long-held tradition too.
3. Explore on foot or in the saddle Lockdown has taught many of us the value of the simple things in life. So whether you’re a London local or new to the city, you'll enjoy the unadorned pleasure of fresh air on foot or on a bike. Our recommendations: if you want to take in the best sights on your journey, start from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This 67-kilometre (37-mile) walk will allow you to see London's major Olympic sites while taking you past some of the most popular attractions in London, including Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. Cyclists: enjoy the towpath that goes north from Hackney Wick up the River Lea and past the canal locks straight to Epping Forest. 4. Sky Garden Cityscapes 20 Fenchurch St, EC3M 8AF Some of the best free views of London are from the viewing gallery at Sky Garden, opened in early 2015 on the top three floors of 20 Fenchurch Street, colloquially known as the ‘Walkie Talkie’. At 155m high, walk among the exotic plants in this high-rise greenhouse and take in the 360-degree views over the city. Whether during the day or at night, you can’t help to be impressed. If you fancy a drink there’s an upmarket bar and restaurant to have a splurge, or a small café if you want a quick bite.
5. Classical Concerts St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4JJ St Martin-in-the-Fields is a go-to spot for lunchtime culture. This English Anglican Church dates back to the medieval period and offers free classical concerts at 1pm on most Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Their programme ranges from piano recitals to solo singers and is anything but amateur. Check the schedule on their website and head down for free - doors open at 12. Donations are welcome. 6. National Galleries Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN & St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE Just across from St Martin-in-the-Fields are the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery (closed until Spring 2023. Check out their digital exhibits here). Two of the most popular galleries in London, the National Gallery contains over 2,000 Western European paintings from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Rembrandt; while the National Portrait Gallery boasts the world’s largest collection of portraiture, more than any other gallery in the world with over 10,000 portraits! 7. Deer Spotting Richmond Park, Holly Lodge, TW10 5HS There’s nowhere quite like Richmond Park in London. It’s the largest of the eight Royal Parks in London and classified as a National Nature Reserve – and there’s nowhere like it in London to enjoy a bit of deer spotting! With a herd of 650 red and fallow deer, you can’t help but spot them grazing around the park. Bring a picnic in the warmer weather, or detour and drive through it on your way back to London. 8. Changing of the Guard Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA Catch one of the most iconic royal traditions at Buckingham Palace and watch the Changing of the Guard. This tradition showcases British pomp and military ceremony with immaculate guards and stirring bands. It happens at 11am daily during the summer, and alternate days during the rest of the year but schedules may change until further notice, so it's always best to check the site. The Palace is also offering virtual viewings during this time, so be sure to check those out if you can't make it down in person.
9. Hampstead Heath London Borough of Camden One of the best-loved green spaces in London, for Londoners and visitors in the know, Hampstead Heath is a hilly, varied and historic wonderland in North London. You get a great view of the London skyline from Parliament Hill, and there’s a real natural abundance and biodiversity here that you won’t find in many other places around the capital. It can get busy during the summer, sure, but it’s so big that you’ll always find a lovely, secluded spot for a picnic. 10. Platform 9 3⁄4 1, Kings Cross Station, Euston Rd, N1 9AP Calling all Harry Potter fans, this is perhaps one of the best free Harry Potter experiences there is. Stand at the iconic Platform 9 3⁄4 and grip onto the trolley as it speeds through the wall from the world of Muggles into the world of Magic. Don’t forget to take a photo!
11. Street Art Around East London, particularly Shoreditch and the streets off Brick Lane With walls and end of terraces filled with street art and graffiti, East London is a vibrant, colourful and fascinating place to explore on foot. Naturally, it doesn’t cost a thing to see and snap these works of art in their natural setting and admire the way they work together to create an ever-changing, constantly-evolving and beautiful whole. From political statements and protests to straight-up weirdness, the murals and smaller pieces that mark the walls of Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Regents Canal and Dalston are vital to the feel of the East End, as well as the look. 12. Free films BFI South Bank, South Block, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XT Going to the cinema these days is no cheap thing. Popular during the summer months are pop up screens in public places like parks, squares and rooftops, but you can catch iconic films all year round – and without paying a penny – at the BFI Mediatheque. Just remember to save your spot online. With over 2,500 films on file, choose which one best suits your mood, sit back and slip on some headphones to immerse yourself in the moment. The collection is specially curated into different areas of interest, meaning you can easily find something that appeals to you. And if you don't feel ready to venture into a cinema just yet, you can also enjoy the BFI's free archives remotely. 13. Royal Air Force Museum Royal Air Force Museum, Grahame Park Way, NW9 5LL A great one for kids, veterans and aeroplane enthusiasts alike, the Royal Air Force Museum is home to over 100 aircraft and tells the story of the role and development of the RAF. Alongside some of the most famous and iconic military aircraft, there are fascinating artefacts, including medals, letters and uniforms, as well as a number of interactive features, such as simulators and the chance to hop up into a Spitfire. 14. Be a member of the audience BBC Studios, various locations Ever wanted to see your favourite presenter live? Do you dream of being in the audience of a chat show? TV shows are always looking for audience members to fill their studios, both in person and virtually. And none more so than the BBC who is great at handing out free seats to most of their top shows. Be prepared for a few re-takes and clapping on demand, but it’ll be an experience to remember! 15. Modern Art Bankside, London SE1 9TG The Tate Modern is considered one of the most influential galleries in the world, showcasing works from all the modern movements, and featuring names like Lichtenstein, Warhol, Picasso, Dali and Rothko. It is located in a disused power station, which adds to its unique character, right on the River Thames. With so much to see, it’s no wonder it’s considered one of the best free things to do in London - just remember to book ahead.